Montgomery has won the title of “Ms. West Virginia” and she will be
competing in the Ms. United States Pageant beginning on July 26th
in Las Vegas. What makes Skylene so unique is not just that she is immensely
talented, beautiful, poised and intelligent; it is how her participation in
sports as a young girl and through high school prepared her for her role as
a SportsKids Beauty Queen.
played a crucial developmental role for Skylene. As an only child, she was
the neighborhood “tomboy” playing sports with (www.SportsKids.com)
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Coach’s Corner, Continued
boys. Her babysitter had two boys about her age and there was no way they
would get to play sports without her. So, she started out by playing catcher
on the boy’s baseball team. Because she wore a mask and had short hair,
without her earrings, only her teammates knew she was a girl.
From her introduction into sports as a baseball player, she evolved into
playing softball, basketball and volleyball and excelled at all three
sports. She was a pitcher on traveling softball teams and an all-state
performer in high school. She began playing basketball in third grade when
she was the only one in her class to make the upper division (4th
to 6th grade) team and became the high school starting forward.
While Skylene didn’t start playing volleyball until junior high it became
her best sport; as a setter she was named All-State twice and played as a
freshman in college before injuries took their toll. Her sports career was
lots of fun, but it’s the lessons she learned that make her most proud of
Skylene noted that “sports taught me the concept of friendly competition and
goal setting.” Of course she made tons of new friends and had great
experiences on travel teams to Florida, South Carolina and to the West
Virginia state tournaments. More importantly, she learned how to create
small stepping stone goals (SportsKids.com Archive 1-05) that are the key to
success in both sports and life. She set goals for each game and season for
strikeouts, sets, rebounds, shots or other small parts of the game so that
she would always work to improve. Then she learned to apply these lessons to
school and set goals for grades, tests, or writing applications. Finally,
she learned to apply her sports lessons to beauty pageants.
Skylene began competing in pageants at the age of 16 and said that “Sports
lessons were really helpful to my becoming Ms. West Virginia, especially
volleyball, where I had to work very hard to be good”. Not blessed with
great speed, Skylene developed quickness and anticipation to be in the right
place at the right time. She applied this principal to pageants where she’s
worked hard to learn about poise. She said that “after growing up as a
tomboy, I had to work extra hard to be articulate, poised and graceful.”
Competing in pageants is very much like playing sports including the
friendly competition and having a great coach to listen to. Just like
practicing and working out for sports, Skylene had to train to participate
in the Ms. West Virginia Pageant, including interview skills, walking,
posing and so much more. “Getting physically and mentally ready for a
statewide or national pageant is just like preparing for a big game” she
love of sports has also impacted her education
platform as Ms. West Virginia. She is going to be a senior at Marshall
physiology with a minor in psychology.
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Coach’s Corner, Continued
athlete, she fractured her ankle and during the six months of rehab began to
appreciate the work done in this area. Eventually she plans to attend
physical therapy graduate school at the University of West Virginia and
ultimately operate her own group of clinics.
Her goals as Ms.
West Virginia are also rooted in sports. Skylene hopes to help curb the
growing problem of child obesity. Skylene says that “West Virginia is #1 on
the obesity scale in the country” and she intends to do something about it
by using her bully pulpit to educate kids. She states that even small
changes like “eating at home to cut out fast food and drinking water instead
of soda can make a huge impact”. In addition to healthy eating, she wants to
teach kids to stay fit. While she works out 1-2 hours, 5 days a week,
Skylene just wants kids to “do something every day to elevate their heart
rate. Kids can exercise in fun ways like playing sports, dancing, playing
tag or just walking in the park”. She feels that the “kids should have fun
but be active too”.
With her background in sports, Skylene is sure to accomplish the goals she’s
set for herself and for teaching kids about exercise and nutrition. Based on
the great friendships she’s made, the lessons she’s learned and the benefits
she’s gained, she can’t fail. When she eventually has her own kids, she says
there is “no doubt that I will get my kids involved in youth sports at an
early age.” If her kids show some interest in entering pageants as they get
older that’s fine too, but she’s going to make sure that they play sports.
She’s learned some great things through sports and hopefully all the lessons
and hard work will pay off for Skylene later this month when she may be
crowned Ms. United States.
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